Do you have big overreactions to “small” situations in life?
Or do you get “big” emotions over something even though you can’t quite explain why?
Have trouble articulating what you’re feeling–or do you feel disconnected from what you want?
You’re not alone Hunny Bunny! These are all common symptoms that you have a Wounded Inner Child.
What Is Your Wounded Inner Child?
As far away as your childhood might seem, there are still important pieces of you that have mentally stayed in that space.
We all experience trauma in one form or another–whether that’s abandonment, rejection, humiliation, etc. Even though we might have come from “good” families where we know our parents loved us and did their best, we might still have had small-t trauma experiences that are deeply affecting our lives today.
For example, perhaps you have problems asking for what you want, in relationships and in life in general.
That could be a reaction to a small-t trauma experience you had as a child.
Maybe you asked your parent for help with something and they ignored your request (so you learned to just not make that request in the future).
Maybe they made fun of you for asking (so you learned your needs were unimportant or embarrassing).
Or maybe they made started talking about what a burden you were for even asking (their emotional immaturity used shame to make you feel bad about your completely normal needs as a child).
That part of you still feels that hurt (or shame etc). Although it has learned “coping” strategies to help it minimize that pain, the pain itself has not gone away.
Your Wounded Inner Child will always thirst for the love, understanding, and support that it did not receive back then.
But fortunately, as the conscious adult that you are now, you are able to go in and “give” your Wounded Inner Child the words and support it needs.
(And therefore stop that inner craving for acceptance and minimize the unhelpful “coping” strategies that you developed back then.)
Signs Of A Wounded Inner Child:
Still not sure if you have a Wounded Inner Child that needs some healing? Here are some signs:
- Addictions (alcohol, sex, porn, TV etc.)
- People-pleasing, codependency (or a problem saying no)
- Easily triggered or angered
- Strong Inner Mean Guy/Girl (Inner Critic voice)
- Overachieving or perfectionism
- Difficulty setting boundaries
- Difficulty expressing emotions (especially “negative” ones)
- Feeling guilty or uncomfortable expressing needs or desires
- Fear of abandonment
- Conflict avoidance
- Narcissism or a constant need to be admired or validated by others
- Controlling tendencies
- Social anxiety
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Fear of asking for help or feeling like a burden
If some of that sounds familiar, please don’t fret! Keep reading to get some solid tips on healing your Wounded Inner Child.
How To Heal Your Wounded Inner Child
Heal Your Wounded Inner Child Tip #1:
Start A Relationship With Your Wounded Inner Child
Your Wounded Inner Child is already communicating with you. The question is: are you listening?
Without knowledge or name, it’s unlikely that you’re understanding what’s going on. But with a little intention and openness, you can start this important conversation with yourself.
While you can do this at any time, it’s especially useful to start this dialogue when you’re feeling upset or triggered.
Just tune in and ask these three questions:
- What does my Wounded Inner Child need or want right now?
- What are they feeling?
- What can I do for them?
This might feel weird or awkward at first but stick with it! With a little practice, it will become a snap to connect with your Wounded Inner Child.
Heal Your Wounded Inner Child Tip #2:
Write Your Wounded Inner Child A Letter
Another powerful way to heal your Wounded Inner Child is by writing them a letter. Before you start, take a moment to mentally travel back in time and remember the child who you used to be. What upsetting experiences do you recall? What happened in that moment and how did you end up feeling?
With those things in mind, start writing that version of you a letter. Let yourself bring up anything that comes to mind but here are some tips:
- Tell them they deserved better
- Tell them they are still lovable no matter what
- Tell them their inherent worth never changed
- Tell them you are now with them to listen to them and support them
The act of journaling can really help you to get out of your analytical mind and into your heart so don’t be afraid to hold back with this one. You never have to show this letter to a single soul.
Heal Your Wounded Inner Child Tip #3:
Replace Your Harsh Inner Critic Voice With Conscious Parenting Language
Oftentimes, the voice of harsh Inner Critic echoes the words our parents used on us in our most upsetting moments. I know that that inner voice might seem real and accurate but please know it isn’t as real as you think! With a little direct attention, you can stop letting this voice bully and belittle you.
When you notice the harsh voice coming up, try reframing into a softer, gentler message:
“I am such a failure” —-> “I did the best I could.”
“I’m so stupid.” —-> “I’m still figuring things out and that’s okay.”
“I’ll never have X.” —-> “I’m committed to figuring out how to get X, no matter what it takes.”
Notice: what are your most common Inner Critic phrases? How can you rephrase them to be more supportive?
Heal Your Wounded Inner Child Tip #4:
Somatic Therapy (Such as EMDR, EFT, hypnosis, etc.)
There are loads of healing modalities out there and you can certainly go a long way with the other healing suggestions here. But if you feel the need to take your inner healing work to the next level, might I suggest a somatic (or bottom-up) style therapy?
Traditional talk therapy definitely has a time and place. But for most of us, trauma (including little-t trauma) lives inside the body. It’s hard to shift with the conscious mind because it goes so much deeper. So when looking for a trauma-healing therapy, try out these other options:
- Somatic experiencing
(Note: if you are processing a “big” trauma experience or have severe childhood trauma that you’ve never worked through with a therapist, I definitely recommend going to a traditional therapist to begin!)
Heal Your Wounded Inner Child Tip #5:
Let Yourself Play
Joy and self-expression are two things you absolutely loved as a child. We’ve all seen a child joyously stomping through a puddle on the sidewalk or put all their concentration into drawing a mystical creature. Now think about what those kinds of activities felt like to you as a child.
As an adult, we’re usually much too focused on working hard and being successful to indulge in these natural interests. But part of your soul never stopped craving that joy and expression. Since we’re trying to reestablish a relationship with that Wounded Inner Child part of us, let’s make it fun for them to come out and play.
So think about it now. What kinds of activities did you enjoy then? How can you bring some of those things back now?
Make it a point to do something fun for yourself every single day. That might be as simple as taking an extra moment for yourself on your walk to work. Or letting yourself doodle to your heart’s content over your lunch break.
The more you do this, the easier it will get! Plus it has the additional benefit of letting you release all the stress and tension you might be holding onto from your day.
Did you find this post useful? Looking for some more help with Inner Child healing & reparenting work? Then I invite you to come join me in my monthly program Recode! Get all the self-healing tools you need to tranform your Inner Child, shadow, manifestation blocks and much more!
The concept of the Wounded Inner Child might seem strange at first. But if you’ve been feeling any of the symptoms listed above, then I encourage you to start this powerful healing process. No matter what your Inner Child has to tell you, you will be able to create the love and understanding within yourself that that piece of you is craving.
And when you can do that, you set yourself free from so many of those old blocks and limitations!
Happy healing my friend!
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